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Month August 2014

August Photo Update

The sweltering heat of our first summer in Tokyo is starting to die down, and our kids started school again this week after a 5-week break. A lot has happened in a month. Very short but full summer… Here are some pictures from August:

 

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I play on a PTA softball team with other parents who have kids in our local elementary school. I’m getting to know one of them in particular, who lost his wife a couple of years ago. He has a daughter, and he wants her to learn English. They live in our apartment complex, and I’m looking forward to getting to know them better.

 

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We hosted an event called Kids English Week (a little bit like VBS in America), and close to 100 kids in two different age groups attended. A short-term team from Covenant Life Church (Gaithersburg, MD) came to help us with the event. We were able to serve and bless these kids and their families, and to connect with some of the parents through this event.

 

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Kids English Week: Craft time

 

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Kids English Week: One of the hidden talents of our fellow missionary, Bob Drews, that we discovered through this event was being a pirate. He played the part so well!

 

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Kids English Week: Older kids group picture

 

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Thank you dinner for the CLC team at our apartment with Grace Harbor Team families.

 

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Grace Harbor Church Staff Team: Back row (L to R) – Lisa & Sean Radke, Bob Drews (missing his wife Sharon!), Seima Aoyagi, Atsushi Kabeya; Front row (L to R) – Jon & Sarah Pfeil, Naoko Aoyagi, Emma & yours truly.

 

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After being here for a few months getting settled in and adjusting to our new life here, we got to take a little breather as we drove for 4 hours up to a village called Tanne, where my mom’s family is from. I spent my summer and winter breaks there as a child. Mountains, rivers, ocean, fish, bugs, and fresh fruits and vegetables, many fond memories of this place. It’s been more than 10 years since I last visited the village. Not much has changed except for more empty houses as young people move to the cities and old people pass away. The elementary school in the village has been transformed into a nursing home. A sign of aging and childless Japan. There are many villages like this all over Japan. A sad reality. Looking forward to the city that is to come!

 

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My grandparents’ house. Since both of them have passed away, it sits there empty most of the time. My uncle owns and maintains it. Grateful to him for letting us use it!

 

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Kids caught rainbow trout at a nearby trout farm. They were delicious!

 

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Trying to recreate a similar picture from when I was Peter’s age…

 

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The ocean was 10 minutes away, so we got to go to the nearby beaches a couple of times.

 

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One of my favorite memories of summer from my childhood is fireworks. Glad we were able to enjoy it before the summer’s end…

 

We’re grateful to God for the summer full of events and new encounters and fun memories as a family!